History and Memory in the Carolingian World by Rosamond McKitterick

By Rosamond McKitterick

This examine unearths the awesome volume of assorted kinds and new kinds of historical past written within the Frankish nation-states of Western Europe in the course of the 8th and 9th centuries. The Franks additionally preserved the classical and Judaeo-Christian histories from prior centuries. Their books replicate a hugely refined and many-layered figuring out of the prior in addition to a truly inventive use of historical past. Rosamond McKitterick illuminates the terribly influential function of those heritage texts within the formation of political ideologies and senses of identification inside Europe.

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It also takes up one of the challenges I offered in chapter 2 concerning historical compilations. It begins as a study of a single manuscript but it implicates all other Carolingian codices containing historical texts. It focusses ¨ in particular on a royal history book, Vienna, ONB cod. 473, probably written in 869. It included the Frankish annals with other historical texts (such as the Liber pontificalis, the Liber historiae francorum and Vita Karoli of Einhard) to create an extraordinarily significant and important book.

The Annales regni francorum 741 restarts at chapter 1 on fol. 56r. This is also the beginning of a new quire, with a large DCCXLI written in red uncial and the first letter of Carlus written in red, as a consciously new text. At DCCL the text pauses. Six lines are left blank and so is the following verso, so that this decade-long period before the assumption of the kingship by the Carolingian family forms a short epoch in itself, recording the competition presented to Pippin by Carloman and Grifo and the emergence of Pippin alone.

The twelfth-century scribe may then have used the final blank leaf of the original quire and added three single leaves to accommodate the rest of his own text. Whatever the case, it is clear that the Carolingian scribe distinguished codicologically between the Liber historiae francorum and added sections from the Continuations of Fredegar’s Chronicle on the one hand, and the Annales regni francorum text on the other. Yet he also preserved the sense of continuity by maintaining the same generous margins and spacious layout throughout the manuscript.

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